22 Dec 2009

November brings tourism slump to CNMI

2:18 pm on 22 December 2009

There was a dramatic slump in visitor arrivals in the Northern Marianas last month compared with November 2008.

According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, tourists to the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota numbered just over 23,000 compared with nearly 40,000 a year ago.

So far this fiscal year, 30 percent fewer visitors have arrived in the CNMI compared with the same period in 2008.

The biggest CNMI tourism market, Japan, has fallen 40 percent but the year end holidays are expected to bring a turnaround.

This will coincide with the restoration of four weekly flights from Nagoya and Osaka, rather than the current three, while 14 charter flights from five cities in Japan are expected for the end of the year.

Arrivals from South Korea were 23 percent lower and Russian arrivals were down 18 percent, but the Chinese market is starting to grow, with a 34 percent increase to nearly 3,000 visitors last month.